Little Norman takes first win at Killarney
Saturday’s opening round Western Province Karting championships at Killarney provided a number of surprise results, but few as poignant as little Eric Norman’s first-ever race win as he stormed to victory on his Body Elite Topkart in the under-8 Cadet class. Norman, who started racing 18 months back, overcame the close attentions of race 2 winner Ian Joubert and also Luan Mostert in race 3 to take a pair of race wins to clinch overall victory for the day.
“Wow, I am so happy!” a delighted Eric admitted after the races. “We had such fun on track dicing with Ian and Luan for the lead today but I managed to win and I am over the moon! “We have worked so hard since we started karting — we come to practice all the time and we are learning more every time, but today we raced with a very good engine from uncle Ed Murray and EMR and we won, so thank you uncle Ed!
“I also want to thank my friends and rivals for such a good race — I think we are going to have a very good year of racing. “But I also have to thank my dad Craig — we have struggled together and now we have won together — thanks so much dad, all the dads and coaches at WP karting for showing us the ropes and especially uncle Matthew for being the coolest engineer ever and mom for packing the best lunches at the track!”
Eric lives in Stellenbosch and is in Grade 2 at Rhenish Primary School. He comes from a long line of petrolheads and his dad soon bought him a used kart and he started practicing. The Normans learned quickly, driving with SA’s best — they saw the effort and the seat time the leaders put in and did the same and in spite of limited budgets, little Eric has so far put in over 12 000 laps in his short racing career under the expert guidance of his dad whose day job is to run the Body Elite boxing and fitness gym.
Every session has had a purpose and a goal, either working on racing lines, learning to drive with smoother movements, offensive and defensive driving. The Normans are often first at the track and last to leave, but it all paid off when Eric won at Killarney on Saturday, executing his game plan flawlessly except for a slight error that cost him a win in race 2.
That first race win was very emotional for both Eric and his dad, who both shed a tear or two — not just in the joy of victory, but also in relief after all the hard work, the affirmation that he is a good driver and can win races. Eric is well liked at the track and the response to his win from his local fans was simply overwhelming, but now he will take it one race at a time, staying focussed on the job at hand and the fierce competition he faces from Ian Joubert and Luan Mostert.
Eric and the Cadet gang return to action at the second round of the WPMC championship at Killarney 3 March.